Corporate Social Responsibility

With the passage of The Companies Act-2013, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an integral part of the business world today. The new regulations under Schedule VII of the Act, suggests communities to be the focal point of all such activities. As per the new amendments “setting up old age homes, day care centers and such other facilities for senior citizens” will now come under the purview of CSR activities.

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Why should a corporate consider Old Age Homes and Day Care Centers as its CSR?

The past decades have seen an exponential growth in the population of the country. Besides the increase in the youth population, there has been a steady rise in the elderly population which today stands close to 100 million people over the age of 60+ years. As per available statistics, the aging population in India is growing at 3.8% per annum, constituting almost 8% of the total population. Based on current trends the size of the elderly population will increase to 240 million by 2050.

Old age brings along with it a whole set of issues for the elderly, Loneliness creeps in early resulting in the elderly spending time alone, all by themselves. The loneliness and isolation in their own homes make them feel insecure and vulnerable, which often leads to serious health and well being issues. The common lament is that they have no one to support them at this stage in life. Further their needs are compounded by conditions associated with aging, including chronic illness, diseases, functional limitations, physical / mental frailty and limited financial means. As people get older, they need support to continue to lead an active, healthy, independent and secure life. The poor civic infrastructure only adds to the woes of the elderly.

The challenge for Indian society today is to cater to the healthcare, well being and housing needs of this fast aging population.

This requires a multi-dimensional approach backed with specific programs providing – age appropriate housing and residential care services for the elderly in the community. The inclusion of the CSR mandate under The Companies Act, 2013 is an attempt to supplement the government’s efforts in this regard.

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